Over the Weekend: Houston Artopia at Winter Street Studios

Photo by Daniel Kramer

As you should know if you've been following the Houston Press recently (and why wouldn't you?) we held a little get-together called Artopia at Winter Street Studios in the Heights to honor and showcase local artists and performers.

Sandwiched in between the railroad tracks and various industrial factories, Winter Street Studios still managed to cut a glamorous figure, lit up like the belle of the ball with a line of cars out front stretching all the way down the street. A similar line of people snaked out the door, braving the cold (and if you remember Saturday night, good Lord was it cold) in order to gain entrance.

Upstairs in the main gallery, though, it was toasty warm. Local painters and sculptors had displays hanging from the many-faceted walls of the place, some with the artists standing nearby to greet and chat with admirers. Former graffiti artist Phillip Perez' works were a highlight, as were the works of Solomon Kane, whose glow-in-the-dark paintings hung in a small, fully-furnished room under a black light, not to mention the impressive surrealist paintings and sculptures that stood with no name but turned out to belong to Houston Press MasterMind honorees Patrick Medrano and Katy Anderson. Ankah's gigantic floral mural in the back room was also a nice touch.

Speaking of Medrano and Anderson, Houston Press Editor Margaret Downing presented the MasterMind awards to the respective recipients amid videos showcasing the artists themselves and their works and projects. Afterward, the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company performed three routines which were far more involved and enjoyable than those anti-dance cynics you know would admit. Creative use of props such as long elastic bands (to signify bondage - the social kind, not the dirty kind) and apples and bananas (to signify male and female parts - really!) highlighted the smoothness and agility of the performers, rather than detracting.

Food was also available from several local artisans, as well as fine performances by local musical acts Sideshow Tramps, Karina Nistal and Arthur Yoria. Also of note were later performances by the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater and the Travesty Dance Group.

Finally, one last little tidbit to make you even sorrier you missed the festivities (not that there would have been much room for you, judging from the stellar turnout): the bars scattered throughout the event selling Red Bull, Jack Daniels, and Budweiser were enjoyed by many, thoroughly and frequently. Next time, wise up and come out if the Press throws a bash.

To the rest of you who did brave the cold and come out, thanks!

Click here for a slideshow from Daniel Kramer.

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